Avalanche’s top line dominates in blowout home victory over Jets – The Denver Post

The Avalanche’s top line took flight on Thursday against the Jets.

Colorado rolled to a 7-1 victory at Ball Arena with goals from Gabe Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Landeskog recorded a hat trick. MacKinnon added four assists to extend his NHL-best points streak to 12 games, and the top line combined for 12 points.

“Right away out of the gate they were involved physically and really assertive on loose pucks,” coach Jared Bednar said. “I liked their game all the way around. They checked the right way and got rewarded for their hard work.”

The Avalanche (19-8-2) — winners of 10 straight at Ball Arena — need one more victory to set a franchise record for consecutive home wins. Colorado hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

A back-and-forth opening period Thursday began with a Jets power-play goal. Darcy Kuemper got beat by Winnipeg forward Mark Scheifele just 20 seconds into the shorthanded sequence. The Avalanche pulled it even later in the first when forward Nazem Kadri tipped in a rocket from defenseman Erik Johnson.

Kadri is off to the best start of his NHL career with 42 points (12 goals) over 27 games played this season.

The Avs powered ahead in the second period. Rebound goals from Landeskog (twice) and Rantanen — each assisted by MacKinnon — provided a 4-1 lead. Colorado added third-period goals from MacKinnon and Landeskog (with another MacKinnon helper).

“When we play the right way and take care of our end first … that’s the recipe for winning hockey games,” captain Gabe Landeskog said. “It’s about making sure we take care of the defensive side of things first. Offensively, we know we have enough skill and systems in place to score a lot of goals. Tonight, we got rewarded on the power-play as well.”

Kuemper has won seven consecutive starts in net for the Avalanche to tie his career-best set in 2019 with the Arizona Coyotes. Kuemper made 34 stops against the Jets. But it was Colorado’s top line that stole the show on Thursday night.

Landeskog, MacKinnon and Rantanen combined for 12 points.

“We’ve got a lot of hockey to go,” MacKinnon said. “We’ve had good starts before. Sometimes our second half hasn’t been as strong. We’re looking to be a consistent line for hopefully 82 games this year. We know our role on the line. Each of us brings a different dynamic, which makes us really good and really tough to play against.”

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